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New information is available today regarding the iOS and Android app Pokémon Go, brought to us by the Nintendo E3 2016 Treehouse live stream.  The information primarily concerns a new wearable peripheral for the app, called the Pokémon Go Plus.  Linked below is the Treehouse live stream; the question and answer session with Pokémon Go developers, translators, and field testers is the first panel in the live stream.

First and foremost, for the time being players will only be able to encounter and capture Pokémon from the original Kanto region.  The developers did confirm during the panel that they plan on making the rest of the Pokémon franchise available for encountering and capturing.  And just like the core game series, not every Pokémon will be easy to capture – some require a bit more luck than others.

To capture Pokémon, players must throw a Pokéball at the Pokémon like in the core game series.  Unlike the core game series, however, players  must aim the Pokéball at a specific target that displays on the Pokémon.  Players can control the spin and strength the Pokéball is thrown at, which is factored into whether the Pokémon is successfully captured.

At the end of the panel, the developers discussed the wearable peripheral device for the Pokémon Go app, the Pokémon Go Plus, which can be seen below.  The device can either be clipped onto clothing, or worn like a bracelet via an included band.

Nintendo E3 2016 Pokémon Go Plus

The device is intended for players to not overly rely on the use of their smartphone, and feel like they are actually on an adventure, searching for Pokémon.  Players are notified of a nearby Pokémon when the light turns green and the device starts vibrating.  Pressing the button in the middle of the Pokéball causes a Pokéball to be thrown at the Pokéman.  Success is denoted by a rainbow light, while failure is shown by a red light.

Unfortunately for fans who were hoping to get a release date for the app, a hard date hasn’t been announced just yet.  The wearable peripheral will be made available at the end of July, retail price $34.99.  Pokémon Go will be available on iOS and Android devices.

Stay tuned to TechRaptor for continuing coverage of Pokémon Go and Nintendo E3 2016; you can find more of TechRaptor’s E3 coverage in our E3 2016 coverage hub.

Quick Take

While the Pokémon Go Plus peripheral looks interesting (and is similar in concept to the Pokéwalker that was included with purchases of Pokémon SoulSilver and HeartGold), I don’t think it will be worth the $34.99 price tag.  It makes playing the app much easier, as players don’t need to pull out their smartphones every few minutes to see if they’ve encountered a Pokémon, but at the same time, it defeats the purpose of the app being free-to-play.  There are advantages to having the peripheral, and I appreciate the reasons the developers want people to use the device over their smartphones, but not for paying what is essentially the price for a regular core series game.

What are your thoughts on Pokémon Go?  Do you think the peripheral is worth buying?  Let us know in the comment section below!

Brandon Bobal

Partner Manager

Brandon writes articles with focuses on video and board games, and Magic: The Gathering. When he isn't doing research for his weekly Magic: The Gathering column, he can be found enjoying the outdoors.